I’ve been swooning over Lisi Lerch’s signature Tassel Earrings for years and I was so thrilled to introduce her collection in the Shoppe!
I love the mid-century inspired designs created in modern-day colors. Shop the collection here: http://emilymccarthy.com/shoppe/product-category/jewels/
My Pure Barre journey has continued through this pregnancy with Lillian. I began Pure Barre in February of 2013 and it has completely changed my body, outlook on exercise and given me an outlet of “me” time that helps me stay balanced with motherhood, work and the everyday juggle. It definitely takes hard work and dedication to stay committed but when it feels like it’s too hard to keep up with the schedule, I remind myself that I’m a better person when I go to class. I’m a better business owner, wife, mom and friend when I’m able to spend that hour of time focusing on my body inside and out. Because of Pure Barre and new eating habits (thanks to my sister-in-law Colleen McCarthy), I actually started this pregnancy 10 pounds lighter than my pregnancy with Rhett. Before Pure Barre, I had dropped most of my pregnancy weight, but still felt ‘fluffy’ – I think some of it had to do with nursing as well. I was wavering around a size 8 and later dropped to a size 4 after my dedication to Pure Barre and the results of my MRT test. I’m attempting to reach my goal of 250 classes but time will tell if I can get there before or after Lillian arrives the end of May.
During my pregnancy with Rhett, let’s just say I quit counting after I passed the 50lb weight gain mark. I just couldn’t look at the scale any longer. I wasn’t eating well and I definitely wasn’t exercising. I suffered from a bit of sciatic nerve pain and frequented the chiropractor to help resolve the pain. This ‘pinched’ nerve feeling stopped me from exercising because I was convinced it made me feel worse. Little did I know that it actually would have helped!
When I found out I was pregnant with Lillian, I made a commitment to myself to continue Pure Barre, no matter how difficult it may get through the 9 month period. It is proven NOW, that when I don’t go to Pure Barre, I actually feel WORSE. If I have to miss class due to work, motherhood duties, etc – my body gets stiff, heavy and my energy level goes down. I can definitely tell when I miss class and it gives me motivation to reschedule class and get there – no matter how I have to move my schedule around. I owe it to myself and my family to go to class and stay active! Toting around a 3 year old can definitely take a toll on a pregnant body so keeping my muscle tone helps with that, too!
As far as physical appearance, keeping my ab muscles engaged throughout pregnancy has helped keep everything LIFTED. I feel less pressure in my hips and sciatic nerve because my abs are holding everything up higher. Believe it not, I can actually still feel and see my ab muscles – quite amazing considering I didn’t even have ab muscles before PB. They were completely nonexistent as well as seat muscles, too. Overall, muscle tone was definitely lacking and by increasing toning and strength, it has helped me physically with toddler life, post-baby body and increased self-confidence.
I’m anxious to see the effects on the labor process this time around. I had a bit of difficulty with the physical side of labor and I’m praying that this hard work pays off in an ‘easier’ delivery and bounce back. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Next up? Adjusting your Pure Barre routine for your growing body! Luckily, the owner of my Pure Barre studio just recently had her 3rd child and she looks AMAZING! She is the best motivation to keep going to class because the post-baby results make it worth the hard work. Brook has been a great resource for advice and adjusted positions for class. There was a time that I was frustrated because physically, I felt that I could still challenge myself the same way as before pregnancy, but my body wasn’t cooperating. Physically, I felt ABLE, but my muscles just didn’t work the same way. I was feeling some of the ab work in my hip flexors so I know something wasn’t right. She showed me a few adjustments and it has definitely helped keep ab work in my ABS and continue to grow my strength. If you’re attending Pure Barre, as your instructor if she knows a few alternative positions for you, it’s much more beneficial than doing it incorrectly and paying for it later in the wrong areas of your body.
Here are a few links to help you with Pure Barre pregnancy:
Okay, so adjusting my Pure Barre attire was definitely a task and believe it not, it was harder to dress for class in the beginning as it is now (29 weeks). If you’re been pregnant before, you know how ‘blah’ you feel in the first trimester. Your stomach isn’t hard and full yet and everything seems soft and sensitive. It actually felt worse to have tight pants on vs now, tight pants actually feel better. I began my hunt for a few new pieces to get my through the 9 month pregnancy – thought I would share my finds here!
The owner of my studio suggested the Gemini Tight from Pure Barre because of the adjustable waistband. You can wear it high to stay ‘sucked in’ and then fold it over as you need more room. These have been my favorite so far and will work great for post baby body!
After a bit of research, I found these maternity pants from Beyond Yoga – these are great for later in pregnancy – I had a hard time keeping them up in the early stages. The stretchy top feels amazing on the tummy!
This is the top I’m sporting in the photo at the top – I love how LONG this is because it fits over the belly with room at the bottom – I don’t feel like it rides up during class which is a plus. The built-in bra is nice, too! I can’t seem to wear lots of layers during class, I get too hot and stuffy!
I like these oversized tops to throw on top of a sports bra or over tanks after leaving class to run errands. You might even find me wearing these around the house – they are so soft and comfortable and leave ample room for belly! I also love the open back so it lets air in during class – very breathable.
Hope this inspires you to stay active during your pregnancy! Just remember that it may seem hard at first but feels so much better in the end. Even just a simple brisk walk can do the trick if you’re not up to the difficulty level of Pure Barre.
If you’re interested in attending a Pure Barre class, it’s never too late to start. Even if you’re newly pregnant, I know a quite a few people who started during pregnancy and continued after having their baby – their bounce back stories are amazing!
Visit Pure Barre’s website for more information about a studio near you: http://purebarre.com
Their blog also features great recipes and sneak peeks of the technique in case you’re curiosity gets the best of you before attending class.
Remember, the smaller the movements and the more you shake, the better the results! The technique is designed to be isomeric movements focusing on small muscle groups – using your muscles to contract rather than joints and big motions. If you’re planning to try Pure Barre (pregnant or not) – be sure to check out their starter technique classes called “Breaking down the Barre”.
If your’e located in the Savannah area – I hope to see you at the Barre! Visit their Facebook page for updates and tell them I sent you!